Former United Party for National Development (UPND) spokesperson Charles Kakoma has ditched the biggest opposition party to join the ruling Patriotic Front (PF). And Mr Kakoma has said he is lucky to have two presidents as his friends and he has this time around decided to work with President Edgar Lungu who has been his colleague for a long time.
Mr Kakoma, who served as the spokesperson for 14 years in the opposition party, lamented of irregularities that erupted after the party convention that was recently held virtually.
He said during a briefing in Lusaka today that the party demoted him despite him “resoundingly” winning at the convention. Mr Kakoma added that the UPND thought he was a political liability while the PF have embraced him as an asset.
“Strange things happened after that. The top Party Leadership decided to demote me from the position of the party spokesperson and dropped me from the inner cabinet,” he lamented.
He said one of the issues that he campaigned for were that there must be fair regional representation in the party, but that his proposal was not considered. Mr Kakoma said UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema did not appoint any Luvale person out of the 30 that he is mandated to appoint at the convention, a move which the former spokesperson said angered his followers.
Meanwhile, Mr Kakoma said Western Province is ready to work with the ruling PF, adding that President Edgar Lungu will win this year’s elections.
“I am a lucky person in Zambia because two of party presidents in Zambia appear to be my friends. HH is my childhood friend, and I think we are still friends. ECL is also my childhood friend from the time I was at Daily Mail. We both served in Parliament. I opted to support HH even from the first time he stood as party president. In 2015, I campaigned for him, according to him he won. In 2016, again he said he won. Of the two friends now, I have decided I will campaign for the other friend and I think that he will win,” he said.
Mr Kakoma said he will do everything in his power to bring numbers ahead of this year’s elections.
He vowed that he will campaign for the President “from today onward.”
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